Apple Pay comes to Portland area transit providers

May 23, 2019
The Hop Fastpass® now offers riders a tap-and-go fare purchase option for TriMet, C-TRAN and Portland Streetcar services.

Transit users in the Portland-Vancouver region are the first in the world to that will be able to add their Hop Fastpass® card to Apple Wallet. The service, which launched May 21, will allow riders to use their iPhone or Apple Watch to pay for fares on TriMet, C-TRAN and Portland Streetcar.  

The integration of the Hop fare card into the platform is significant on two fronts. First, Hop is the first transit fare card in North America to launch in Apple Wallet and second, TriMet, C-TRAN and Portland Streetcar are the first in the world to launch Apple Pay Express Transit on iPhone or Apple Watch. Additionally, in December 2017, Hop Fastpass became the first virtual transit card available in Google Pay.

Apple Pay Express Transit allows users to pay with a transit fare card, credit or debit card. TriMet explains that with Apple Pay Express Transit, riders can truly tap-and-go by holding their iPhone or Apple Watch near the reader — there is no need to wake or unlock the device, open an app or use Face ID or Touch ID. Express Transit in Apple Wallet works with iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and later running iOS 12.3, and Apple Watch Series 1 and later running iOS 5.2.1.

“TriMet has long been a leader in the transit industry, focused on the customer experience and ways to simplify riding transit. Now with the Hop card in Apple Wallet, our riders and our region take a major leap forward in transit fare payment,” said Doug Kelsey, TriMet general manager.

Apple made the announcement in late March that Apple Pay would be launched for transit services in New York, Chicago and Portland.

“Apple Pay transforms everyday experiences and we’re thrilled Portland-Vancouver residents will now be able to go quickly through their daily commute with just their iPhone and Apple Watch,” said Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services.

TriMet expressed gratitude toward its technology partners, including Apple, INIT, MasterCard and moovel (becoming REACH NOW), as well as its technical consultants Clevor Consulting Group and Jacobs, for their efforts in the ongoing development of the Hop Fastpass.

INIT explains that when a rider taps their iPhone or Apple Watch to any of the fare validators, the INIT system calculates the fare, validates the transaction in the customer’s online account and displays the fare validation result to the rider in real-time.

“The Hop card in Apple Wallet is another innovative tool empowering public transit use in the region and showcasing the unique advantages of an account-based fare system. We all can be proud of this ground-breaking development,” says Thomas Schaich, INIT project engineer.

moovel (becoming REACH NOW) powers the Hop Fastpass app® that allows riders to add new Hop cards to their account and manage funds. moovel also powers the Hop fare inspection app, a mobile application (handheld validator) that TriMet, C-TRAN and Portland Streetcar fare inspectors use to validate fares.

“At REACH NOW, we’re committed to making the experience of riding public transit as convenient as possible with our integrated mobile apps and solutions,” said REACH NOW NA CEO Nat Parker. “With this latest innovation, all you need to do is tap your iPhone to ride. Transit cards in Apple Wallet offer all the benefits of physical cards, with the added ability to manage your account and add funds from the Apple device you have with you everyday.”

Riders who have a plastic Hop fare card can add it to their Apple Wallet and benefits of the card will continue for those who take advantage of the Apple Wallet option including earning a day pass or month pass, the purchase of adult, youth or honored citizen fares and the ability to reload value with Apple Pay.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.